University of East London

Course Code: 06

Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)
University of East London
Water Lane
E15 4LZ

020 8223 4174

Programme Director Academic: Dr David Harper
Programme Director Clinical: Dr Neil Rees
Admission Tutors: Dr Katy Berg and Dr Matthew Jones Chesters
Professional Programmes Team Leader: Ms Claire Correia


The programme was established in 1975 and is housed within the School of Psychology of the University of East London's Stratford Campus. In addition to Clinical Psychology, professional doctorate training is offered in Educational, Counselling and Occupational Psychology, and at Master's level in Clinical & Community Psychology, Careers Guidance, Coaching, Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Training at UEL is seen as a collaborative venture between the University and clinical psychologists in the London region, who, in addition to supervising trainees' clinical placements are also closely involved in programme teaching, assessment, management and selection. London programmes enjoy an extensive range of placement resources, particularly in specialist areas.

The programme is characterised by a distinctive approach to the subject. As well as providing teaching on the major approaches to clinical psychology theory and practice, the philosophical bases of scientific activity are examined, especially the problems of applying philosophies and methods from the natural sciences to human behaviour and society. The programme strongly encourages the formulation of psychological problems in their social context. There is a particular emphasis on conceptual issues such as the reliability and validity of diagnostic categories, and an awareness of debates about the evidential basis of psychological interventions.

The programme's key orienting principles are: (a) that psychological problems are best understood in a social and cultural context, and (b) that trainees and those who teach and supervise them have a responsibility to be aware of and to be able to reflect upon, the social, professional and personal influences on their professional activities.

These principles imply values and assumptions that permeate the programme and that we seek to develop in staff, supervisors and trainees, and include:

  • those values set out in relevant professional Codes of Conduct;
  • the development of a scholarly and constructively critical approach to clinical psychology theory, research and services, which includes being aware of a wide range of theory and of research evidence and its evaluation;
  • placing strong value upon listening to the views of service users and seeing clients' strengths and resources as fundamental to any collaborative work;
  • a commitment to valuing diversity in staff and trainees; and
  • a commitment from programme staff, supervisors and trainees to ensure that such diversity enhances the training experience for all.

There is an emphasis on reflexive practice and a serious commitment to equal opportunities, both in clinical practice and in the curriculum. Trainees are actively involved in all aspects of programme organisation.

Entry Requirements

Please see the Trainee Clinical Psychologist Person Specification for details of the essential and desirable criteria for selection. The essential criteria are applied strictly, and all applicants must meet the essential criteria set out in the Person Specification at the time of application. In line with good practice in relation to the employment of people with disabilities, the programme offers interviews to all applicants declaring a registered disability provided they meet the minimum selection requirements set out below. The University and the relevant NHS Trust work to equal opportunities policies and no applicant is discriminated against on grounds of ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability or age.

Minimum selection requirements

Applications are only accepted from UK/EU students who are entitled to work full-time in the UK for the duration of the programme (three years). This means that applicants must have full UK or EU residency and not require a work permit; to be considered for entry to the course in September 2018, they must normally have been resident in the UK or EU from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2018 for a purpose that is not wholly or mainly related to receiving full-time education during any part of this three-year period.

Applicants must be acceptable to the university as doctoral-level (postgraduate) research students. Applicants must hold an honours degree of at least a high 2:1 class (overall grade of 65% or greater) which is acceptable to the British Psychological Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. Applicants with a conversion diploma/MSc must have a high 2:1 class or better in their first degree.

Applicants must also demonstrate appropriate commitment and realistic evaluation of what training and practice involve. Accordingly, they must have gained the equivalent of at least 12 months full-time paid employment in a relevant post at the time of the application. Relevant posts mean those which give applicants a strong awareness of, and experience in, the practice of clinical psychology and supervision in the NHS or related settings.

Applicants whose primary language is not English, and/or whose university qualifications were not taught and examined in English, must provide evidence of adequate English language facility: overall IELTS grade of at least 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component. No other language testing programmes are accepted.

Applicants must have the commitment and ability to undertake advanced study and clinical psychology practice at the professional doctorate level. Accordingly, clinical and academic references must confirm excellent academic, research and clinical skills and the potential to succeed on the programme.

Applicants must be acceptable to the National Health Service as a trainee clinical psychologist in a full-time capacity, including current regulations of the relevant NHS Trust. All offers of a place are therefore dependent on satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service checks and occupational health checks.

Selection Procedure

The programme employs pre-interview assessment procedures to evaluate applicants' critical thinking skills and capacity for making judgments in complex situations. Applicants will be invited to sit the pre-selection tests on 17 February 2018. Applicants who meet the other essential criteria (above) must also achieve scores on these procedures that place them among the upper 75th percentile.

Each Clearing House application form is reviewed by Programme staff and/or local NHS clinical psychologists for the essential criteria above:

  • satisfactory completion and preparation of the form
  • right to work in the UK/EU and in accordance with relevant NHS regulations
  • academic qualifications
  • academic, research and clinical skills
  • relevant occupational experience, setting and range
  • motivation and realism
  • quality of references

Ratings are combined with scores on the pre-interview assessment procedures such that approximately 90 candidates are short-listed to attend a selection day.

During the selection day, applicants will attend an interview and the People's Panel. Interviews are conducted by a panel comprising representatives of the Programme staff (one of whom is the panel Chair), and clinical psychologists from the region who offer placements. The People's Panel is a short group-based task facilitated by service-users and/or their representatives. On the selection day, there is the chance to meet with current trainees for free and informal talk about the programme, and to see the campus, the School of Psychology and the academic and technical facilities.

Applicant performance in interviews is scored on domains capturing the essential and desirable selection criteria. On the basis of interview ratings, test scores and application form ratings, offer and reserve list places are decided. For all interviewees brief feedback on their performance is provided in the outcome letter.

The programme's selection procedures are constantly being refined and developed, and applicants may be required to participate in additional procedures currently under development/audit in order to be eligible to apply to the programme. Applicants will be advised of any additional procedures at the time of applying.


Current trainees are NHS employees within the London region, on a fixed-term full-time three-year contract, with university fees paid, and with associated NHS salaries (starting Band 6, point 21 on current information), London Allowance, annual leave entitlement etc. For the 2017 intake, 31 trainee clinical psychologist posts were allocated. There are no self-funded places available. Since all funding (including fees) is currently provided by the UK NHS, the Programme is not in a position to offer places to candidates who do not have residency within the UK, or who would not intend to practise within the UK on completion of training.

Candidates for 2018 entry should check for funding updates on the Clearing House Funding page.

Structure and Content

The programme is a postgraduate programme of full-time study and lasts for three years: intake is in September in accordance with commissioning rounds for clinical psychology training. Approximately 50% of trainee time is spent on clinical placement; around 30% is spent on academic teaching/study; and around 20% on research. Placements and teaching/research days and tasks run in parallel over the three years.

The academic year is divided into four terms: October-December, January-March, April-June and July-September. The placement year, which runs in parallel, is divided into two double terms (October-March and April-September, though in Year 1 placements may begin later due to an induction period). The organisation and general timetable for modules is shown below.


The academic curriculum entails a total 180 credits (approximately 1,800 hours) of teaching, learning and independent study across the three years of the programme: 90 credits in Year 1, 60 credits in Year 2, and 30 credits in Year 3. The academic curriculum is divided into three main modules, one per year of the programme.

Module Year 1 includes
  • Induction
  • C1: History and Epistemology of Clinical Psychology
  • C2: Clinical Skills 1: Individual and Direct Work
  • C3: Personal and Professional Skills Development 1
  • C4: Psychological Presentations in Adults
  • C5: Psychological Presentations in Older Adults
  • C6: Psychosis and Severe/Enduring Presentations
  • C7: Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation
Module Year 2 includes
  • C8: Research Skills
  • C9: Clinical Skills 2: Groups, Families and Systems
  • C10: Personal and Professional Skills Development 2
  • C11: Psychological Presentations in Children and Families
  • C12: Working with People who have Learning Disabilities
  • C13: Working in Health and Social Care settings
Module Year 3 includes
  • C14: Leadership, Management and Clinical Direction
  • C15: Advanced Clinical and Professional Skills

Clinical Experience

Within the competency-based model of training, trainees' clinical experience on placement enables them to develop a continuous accumulation of the competencies they need to gain (270 credits of study). This is achieved by flexible use of a series of six-month and one-year placements, working with a wide range of service users and carers across the life-span. The programme's Clinical Tutors organise placements and supervision for trainees, and facilitate their learning of practice-related skills.

Placements 1 & 2 in Year 1

Two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement(s) in an NHS or related setting, working with:

  • Psychological Presentations in Adults, and/or
  • Psychological Presentations in Older Adults, and/or
  • Psychosis and Severe/Enduring Presentations
Placements 3 & 4 in Year 2

Two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement(s) in an NHS or related setting, working with:

  • Children and Families; Groups, Teams and Systems, and/or
  • People who have Learning Disabilities, and/or
  • Psychological Presentations in Older Adults, and/or
  • Psychology in Health and Social Care settings
Placements 5 & 6 in Year 3

Two 6-month or one 12-month clinical placement(s) in an NHS or related setting, working with:

  • Specialist Clinical Services, and/or
  • Advanced work with Groups, Teams and Systems, and/or
  • Community Psychology and Interventions, and/or
  • Organisational Frameworks and Approaches


The service-related research project is completed in Year 1 and must have a service oriented focus. The clinical research thesis (90 credits) is submitted in the summer of Year 3, from research devised and conducted between Years 2 and 3. Topics for this research are selected from the projects/topics offered by programme staff and/or regional clinical psychologists. This stream of research activity is co-ordinated by the Research Director, with supervisory resources drawn from university staff and regional clinical psychologists. There are a number of active research groups in the School of Psychology including:

  • Institute for Research in Child Development
  • Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group
  • Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Research Group
  • Health Promotion and Behaviour Research Group
  • Psychology and Social Change Research Group
  • Psychology of Education Research Group


Academic components are examined via:

  • Year 1: Essay; two exam papers; practical report
  • Year 2: Research proposal; service-related research; one exam paper; practical report
  • Year 3: Practical report; small group seminar presentation with a written reflective account

Placement performance across the three years is assessed per six-month component via Supervisor Rating of Competence, evidenced by a placement portfolio of clinical experience.

An external and an internal examiner read the research thesis and examine the candidate viva voce, following university postgraduate research regulations.


The Programme espouses a learner-led model and seeks to develop the trainees' own learning skills throughout the three years. We recognise that learning is facilitated by the availability of personal support systems. In practice, this involves:

  • recognising that trainees bring many skills to the Programme and using these in academic and clinical contexts;
  • using reflexive teaching where trainees learn to apply to themselves skills they may also try to develop in clients;
  • the use of learning contracts which specify experiences to be gained and skills to be learned in placement;
  • the use of an individual training plan by which trainees record their progress and which can be used for future planning;
  • the provision of a variety of personal support systems which offer choice and recognise that support should be available on a day-to-day basis as well as for crises;
  • the encouragement of collaborative activities and of the practice of learning from each other.


Mrs Claire Correia - Professional Programmes Team Leader
Mr Muktadir Ali - Programme Placement Officer
Ms Vanessa Koonjul - Programme Administrator

Dr David Harper - Programme Director (Academic)
Dr Matthew Jones Chesters - Deputy Programme Director (Academic)
Dr Neil Rees - Programme Director (Clinical)
Dr Katy Berg - Deputy Programme Director (Clinical)
Dr Kenneth Gannon - Research Director
Dr Trishna Patel - Deputy Research Director

Professor Nimisha Patel - Senior Academic Tutor
Dr Lorna Farquharson - Academic Tutor Year 1
Dr Maria Castro - Academic Tutor Year 2
Dr Poul Rohleder - Academic Tutor Year 3, Reader in Clinical Psychology

TBA - Clinical Tutor Year 1 (intake 2017)
Dr Paula Magee - Clinical Tutor Year 2 (intake 2016)
Dr Rachel Smith - Clinical Tutor Year 3 (intake 2015)
Dr Chanelle Myrie - Development Clinical Tutor
Dr Dora Whittuck - Development Clinical Tutor

Programme Management

The Programme Committee is the programme's main decision-making body and consists of the Programme staff team (above), Associate Clinical Tutors, Student/Trainee Representatives (one per year), Clinical Supervisor Representatives, Heads of Service Representative, and a Representative from the programme's NHS commissioners (Health Education North Central & East London, HENCEL) Clinical Psychology Sub Group.

The Programme Committee has four subcommittees - for Selection, Placements, Curriculum, and Service-users and Carers - with trainee representation on each.